news

Nevada lawmakers working on regulating marijuana edibles

LAS VEGAS

Nevada lawmakers will play catch-up during the upcoming legislative session as they work to regulate the budding medical marijuana industry in the state.

Lawmakers will also address the possibility of voters passing recreational weed in Nevada.

Safety is also top of mind. Lawmakers are hoping to keep edible marijuana products out of kids' hands before it becomes a problem.

In the two-and-a-half years since recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado, an unforeseen problem became apparent.

Colorful packaging has attracted children to edible marijuana products around the house like brownies and candies.

At the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Doctor Andrew Monte says his emergency department sees around 15 marijuana-related patients a week, many of them children.

"If a child eats an entire edible brownie with 100 mg of THC, then that can actually be quite dangerous," Dr. Monte said.

"I'm a mom, I have a 10 and a 6-year-old, and to my 6-year-old, a brownie's a brownie, and she's not going to know the difference," said state Sen. Patricia Farley.

Republican state Senator Patricia Farley along with colleague Democratic state Senator Tick Segerblom are sponsoring several proposed marijuana-related bills this session.

One of those bills is intended to keep cannabis-infused edibles out of kids' hands.

It would require edibles to only be square-shaped and packaged in non-descriptive, child-proof cases. And there would be new curriculum for middle and high schoolers.

"We're also looking at a youth prevention and intervention program, partnering with Roseman University to make sure that gets off the ground," Sen. Farley said.

Some dispensaries are already following the proposed packaging requirements.

Releaf Dispensary investor Ed Bernstein, a father of a medical marijuana patient, says it's important for the industry be good stewards.

"Nevada is the gold standard of regulation, we have the toughest, strictest regulatory scheme of any state in the country," he said.

The edible marijuana bill is one of about a half-dozen currently being drafted.

The final bills will be filed with legislative staff sometime before lawmakers return to Carson City next February

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.